The Mobile Monk, Ladakh, Jammu & Kashmir, India.
Canât refrain from requesting a photo shoot! Though apparently very busy with the upcoming event of the visit of H.H. Dalai Lama in the gompa, he agrees. Something tells me, he is quite used to such requests and not averse to the attention!
07th June, 2013
Guru Rinpoche, Hemis Moanstery, Ladakh.
Padmasambhava or Guru Rinpoche (as known in Ladakh or Tibet) an 8th century Indian Buddhist sage and Tantric magician, who was invited to Tibet by King Trisong Detson around 747 AD. He is credited as being the founder of Vajrayana Buddhism or Tantric Buddhism. Mixing Mahayana Buddhism with existing BÃ¶npo (pre-Buddhist religion of Tibet) cults and Tantricism, introduced the Vajrayana school of thought. Vajrayana refers to one of three routes to enlightenment, the other two being Mahayana and Hinayana (or Theravada). While Mahayana and Hinayana school of thoughts does not recognize Vajrayana as the third path.
Legend has it that Padmasambhava flew to Tibet astride a tiger and awed the locals with his Tantric powers. Nyingma the oldest of the four schools of Tibetan Buddhism (others are Gelug, Sakya and Kagyu) considers him to be the second Buddha. Samye Gompa, the first monastery of Tibet is attributed to him.
In Sanskrit Tantra means liberation, an expansion of ideas. Literally, it means an expansion tool of increasing the awareness of the mind to reach the divine level. Some scholars believe that Tantric ideas can be traced to Stone Age art, which evolved from ritualistic pagan ideas. Its origins probably predate all the ancient religious concepts of India, including Hinduism. Its earliest forms were integrated into witchcraft, shamanism, blood sacrifices and other pagan practices.
Outside the entrance two signs read "Please Take Off Your Shoes and "Flash Photography Not Allowed". Familiar aroma of butter (for burning the fire lamps) and pungent smell of Tibetan incense fills the senses. The statue of Guru Rinpoche dominates all antiques, wall frescos, books line in the glass case. Inspite of the scorching sunshine outside a little shiver runs through perhaps due to the mysterious atmosphere in the dimly lit chamber.